Photo tour: Come see the new Camp Bays Mountain!

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (Sept. 3, 2015) -- A new United Methodist camp is coming to 88 picturesque mountain acres in east Tennessee. Wouldn't you like to see it?

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  1. It's not there yet, says the Rev. Jeff Wadley, director of the recently named Camp Bays Mountain. But with the help of camp experts, architects, and United Methodist believers, the plans are in now place for a ministry that will change the lives of children and others for years to come.
  2. "You have to look into the future," Wadley says. "You can see the moms and dads bringing their kids. You can smell the campfire and the s'mores ... The vision is not to build buildings but to reach children, youth, and adults for Christ."
  3. Here is our photo tour of the new Camp Bays Mountain site in Kingsport, Tenn.! #1
    Here is our photo tour of the new Camp Bays Mountain site in Kingsport, Tenn.! #1
  4. Located in Kingsport -- bordering the largest city-owned park in Tennessee -- the new camp will rejuvenate the property that previously served as Sullivan Baptist Association Retreat Center. Here at the entrance (below), Wadley shows where the welcome center will be built. "The first thing you'll see is a big parking lot and a big front porch."
  5. The Kingsport and Johnson City Districts of Holston Conference are preparing to purchase the property for $500,000; closing will happen soon, Wadley said. Then the work of raising money and volunteer labor begins. People are already calling to ask how they can help. They'll soon have lots of opportunities, according to Wadley.
  6. Behind the welcome center and down a little hill, Wadley points out where the day camp site will be constructed. He's got his hand on a tombstone in the charming old cemetery resting nearby.
  7. Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Director Jeff Wadley shows where the day camp site will be built (next to an old cemetery on the property). #3
    Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Director Jeff Wadley shows where the day camp site will be built (next to an old cemetery on the property). #3
  8. Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Tombstone on the property, near the future day camp site #4
    Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Tombstone on the property, near the future day camp site #4
  9. From the cemetery, you can see up the hill where the welcome center will be located. (The garage will be removed.)
  10. Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Cemetery on the property, near the future day camp site #5
    Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Cemetery on the property, near the future day camp site #5
  11. Wadley now leads us to the dining hall, one of two existing structures on the property.
  12. Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Director Jeff Wadley hikes toward the dining hall. #6
    Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Director Jeff Wadley hikes toward the dining hall. #6
  13. But first ... "Do you remember the iconic bell tower at Buffalo Mountan Camp?" Wadley asks. (How could we forget?)
  14. The bell will be relocated here, he says, so that future generations can experience the same melodic call to "rise and shine" or "y'all come eat!"
  15. Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Jeff Wadley stands where the historic and "iconic bell" from Buffalo Mountain Camp will be relocated in front of the dining hall. #7
    Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Jeff Wadley stands where the historic and "iconic bell" from Buffalo Mountain Camp will be relocated in front of the dining hall. #7
  16. The dining hall is reminiscent of the mealtime space at Buffalo Mountain Camp, the 66-year-old Jonesborough camp that closed following a 2012 flood. The Bays Mountain dining hall will be expanded to include a screened-in porch like the one at Allison Lodge. "We're trying to bring the history of Buffalo Mountain here," Wadley said. This dining hall will seat 210 -- more than Allison Lodge.
  17. Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Existing dining hall will be renovated and expanded. #8
    Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Existing dining hall will be renovated and expanded. #8
  18. Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Dining hall will be renovated and expanded. #9
    Camp Bays Mountain photo tour: Dining hall will be renovated and expanded. #9
  19. Wadley now leads us on a path behind the dining hall, a "nature trail" that will someday be lined by eight new cabins. "They'll be used year round, not just for summer camp but for retreats and other groups," he said. "All of the bathrooms will be handicap-accessible, so that no one will be turned away."
  20. Camp Bays Mountain: A path leading above the dining hall will be lined with cabins #11
    Camp Bays Mountain: A path leading above the dining hall will be lined with cabins #11
  21. An existing lodge will be renovated for bedrooms on the first floor and an infirmary and staff offices in the basement. Renovation on both the dining hall and lodge will be one of the first projects to begin, Wadley said.
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